Community Campaigns for Renewable Heating and Cooling Technologies, Part 2

August 5, 2019 @ 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM ET

The Clean Energy States Alliance hosted the second in a two-part webinar series highlighting the role renewable heating and cooling campaigns play in decarbonizing buildings and in helping states meet their carbon reduction goals. The webinar featured CESA’s recent report, “Community Campaigns for Renewable Heating and Cooling Technologies: Four Case Studies,” and included speakers from HeatSmart Tompkins, Peaks Island (Maine), and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

Jonathan Comstock discussed the HeatSmart Tompkins program, one of the longest-running campaigns in the country, which encourages homeowners to heat their homes with clean energy and reduce their dependence on fossil fuels. HeatSmart aggregates purchases within the community, allowing the program installers to offer bulk, discount pricing to program participants.

Sam Saltonstall introduced the Peaks Environmental Action Team (PEAT), a volunteer community group on Peaks Island, which initiated and operated the Peaks Island Heat Pump Group for three years from 2014 to 2016. This is a unique community program run entirely by volunteers.

Rachel Genzer from NYSERDA provided an overview of their current grant programs aimed at getting groups of homes and businesses to install renewable heating and cooling technologies such as air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps, wood biomass pellet boilers, and solar heating and cooling.

The communities featured in the webinar series are at the vanguard of reducing thermal energy consumption and associated emissions through the widespread installation of residential and small-scale commercial RH&C equipment. Their programs can serve as models for program design and can provide multiple “lessons learned” for launching future campaigns.


  • Jonathan Comstock, HeatSmart Tompkins
  • Sam Saltonstall, Peaks Environmental Action Team, Maine
  • Rachel Genzer, NYSERDA
  • Val Stori, Clean Energy States Alliance (moderator)
  • Georgena Terry, Clean Energy States Alliance (moderator)

This webinar was presented by the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) as part of our Building Electrification and Clean Heating/Cooling initiative.